Quantification of solubility trapping in natural and engineered CO2 reservoirs

Rory Leslie, Andrew J. Cavanagh, R. Stuart Haszeldine, Gareth Johnson, Stuart M. V. Gilfillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Secure retention of CO 2 in geological reservoirs is essential for effective storage. Solubility trapping, the dissolution of CO 2 into formation water, is a major sink on geological timescales in natural CO 2 reservoirs. Observations during CO 2 injection, combined with models of CO 2 reservoirs, indicate the immediate onset of solubility trapping. There is uncertainty regarding the evolution of dissolution rates between the observable engineered timescale of years and decades, and the >10 kyr state represented by natural CO 2 reservoirs. A small number of studies have constrained dissolution rates within natural analogues. The studies show that solubility trapping is the principal storage mechanism after structural trapping, removing 10– 50% of CO 2 across whole reservoirs. Natural analogues, engineered reservoirs and model studies produce a wide range of estimates on the fraction of CO 2 dissolved and the dissolution rate. Analogue and engineered reservoirs do not show the high fractions of dissolved CO 2 seen in several models. Evidence from natural analogues supports a model of most dissolution occurring during emplacement and migration, before the establishment of a stable gas–water contact. A rapid decline in CO 2 dissolution rate over time suggests that analogue reservoirs are in dissolution equilibrium for most of the CO 2 residence time.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberpetgeo2020–120
Pages (from-to)petgeo2020-120
Number of pages10
JournalPetroleum Geoscience
Issue number4
Early online date26 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021


  • Atlantic Ocean
  • carbon dioxide
  • carbon sequestration
  • Cenozoic
  • gas-water interface
  • injection
  • migration
  • Mississippi
  • natural analogs
  • Neogene
  • New Mexico
  • North Atlantic
  • North Sea
  • quantitative analysis
  • rates
  • resevoir properties
  • residence time
  • solubility
  • solution
  • tertiary
  • underground installations
  • underground storage
  • United States
  • Bravo Dome
  • Sleipner Field
  • Jackson Dome
  • Utsira Formation


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